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Hannah Bond, Lillian Morton and Andrea J. Braakhuis

Increased plasma nitrate concentrations from dietary sources of nitrate have proven to benefit exercise performance. Beetroot (BR) contains relatively high levels of nitrate (NO3 ), which increases nitric oxide stores. This study investigated whether dietary nitrate supplementation, in the form of a BR beverage, would improve rowing performance during ergometer repetitions. In a randomized crossover design, 14 well-trained junior male rowers consumed 500 ml of either BR or placebo (PL) daily for 6 d. After supplementation, rowers completed 6 maximal 500-m ergometer repetitions and times were recorded. A 7-d washout period separated the 2 trials. Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, maximum heart rate, urine (specific gravity, pH, and nitrites), and lactates were collected for analysis at baseline and pre- and postperformance. Changes in the mean with 95% confidence limits were calculated. There was a likely benefit to average repetition time in the BR condition, compared with PL (0.4%, 95% confidence limits, ± 1.0%). In particular, Repetitions 4–6 showed an almost certain benefit in rowing time on BR (1.7%, 95% CL, ± 1.0%). The underlying mechanism for the observed results remains unknown, as differences observed in rowers’ physiological measures between the 2 conditions were unclear. Conclusively, nitrate supplementation in the form of BR juice resulted in improved maximal rowing-ergometer repetitions, particularly in the later stages of exercise.

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Nora R. Decher, Douglas J. Casa, Susan W. Yeargin, Matthew S. Ganio, Michelle L. Levreault, Catie L. Dann, Camille T. James, Megan A. McCaffrey, Caitlin B. O’Connor and Scott W. Brown

Purpose:

To assess the hydration status and level of hydration knowledge of youths at summer sports camps.

Methods:

Sixty-seven active youths, 57 males (mean ± SD, 12 ± 2 y, 136 ± 16 cm, 50.6 ± 21.1 kg) and 10 females (13 ± 2 y, 153 ± 8 cm, 45.2 ± 9.0 kg) participated in 4 d of sports camp. Hydration status was assessed before the first practice (AM) and after the second practice (PM). Participants completed suriveys assessing hydration knowledge (HAQ) and hydration habits on day 3 and a self-assessment (EQ#1).

Results:

Mean AM urine specific gravity (USG) and urine osmolality (Uosm) scores ranged from minimal to significant dehydration across 4 d, even when temperatures were mild. Correlations between hydration indices and EQ#1, ranging from 0.11 to −0.51, were statistically significant (P < .05), indicating that subjects recognized when they were doing a good or bad job hydrating. HAQ did not correlate strongly with hydration indices suggesting other impediments to hydration. Thirst correlated negatively with EQ#1 (from −0.29 to −0.60).

Conclusion:

Hydration at summer sports camp is a concern and special efforts need to be made to help youths develop hydration strategies.

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Jason P. Brandenburg and Michael Gaetz

This study determined the fluid balance of elite female basketball players before and during competition. Before and during 2 international games, 17 national-level players (age 24.2 ± 3 yr, height 180.5 ± 6 cm, mass 78.8 ± 8 kg) were assessed. Fluid-balance assessment included pregame hydration level as determined by urine specific gravity (USG), change in body mass during the game, ad libitum intake of water or sports drink, and estimated sweat losses. Mean (± SD) USG before Game 1 was 1.005 ± 0.002 and before Game 2 USG equaled 1.010 ± 0.005. Players lost an average of 0.7% ± 0.8% and 0.6% ± 0.6% of their body mass during Games 1 and 2, respectively. In each game, 3 players experienced a fluid deficit >1% of body mass, and 1 other, a fluid deficit >2%. Sweat losses in both games, from the beginning of the warm-up to the conclusion of the game (~125 min with average playing time 16–17 min), were approximately 1.99 ± 0.75 L. Fluid intake in Game 1 and Game 2 equaled 77.8% ± 32% and 78.0% ± 21% of sweat losses, respectively. Most players were hydrated before each game and did not become meaningfully dehydrated during the game. It is possible that the players who experienced the highest levels of dehydration also experienced some degree of playing impairment, and the negative relationship between change in body mass and shooting percentage in Game 2 provides some support for this notion.

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Stefan Pettersson and Christina M. Berg

Weight category athletes are known for practicing rapid weight loss before competition weigh-in. After weigh-in, athletes strive to restore euhydration and body mass through food and fluid intake. The aim of the current study was to assess prevalence of hypohydration at competition time among elite athletes’ in four different combat sports, and how water intake and timing of official weigh-in were related to hydration status. Participants were 31 taekwondo practitioners and wrestlers who performed evening weigh-in (EWI) the night before competition day and had thus time for rehydration, and 32 boxers and judokas conducting competition day morning weigh-in (MWI). In total, 32% were female. Urine specific gravity (USG) was measured by refractometry on the competition day’s first morning urine sample. Hypohydration was defined as USG ≥1.020 and serious hypohydration as USG > 1.030. Water intake was measured by means of dietary records. The prevalence of hypohydration was 89% in the morning of competition day. Serious hypohydration was also prevalent. This was found in over 50% of MWI athletes and in 42% of the EWI group. A higher water intake, from both fluids and solid foods, in the evening before competition day was not associated with a more favorable hydration status the following morning. In conclusion, neither weigh-in close to competition nor evening weigh-in with more time for rehydration seems to prevent hypohydration before competition.

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Lawrence E. Armstrong, Carl M. Maresh, John W. Castellani, Michael F. Bergeron, Robert W. Kenefick, Kent E. LaGasse and Deborah Riebe

Athletes and researchers could benefit from a simple and universally accepted technique to determine whether humans are well-hydrated, euhydrated, or hypohydrated. Two laboratory studies (A, B) and one field study (C) were conducted to determine if urine color (Ucol) indicates hydration status accurately and to clarify the interchangeability of Ucol, urine osmolality (Uosm), and urine specific gravity (Usg) in research. Ucol, Uosm, and Usg were not significantly correlated with plasma osmolality, plasma sodium, or hemato-crit. This suggested that these hematologic measurements are not as sensitive to mild hypohydration (between days) as the selected urinary indices are. When the data from A, B, and C were combined, Ucol was strongly correlated with Uhg and U„sm. It was concluded that (a) Ucol may be used in athletic/industrial settings or field studies, where close estimates of Usg or Uosm are acceptable, but should not be utilized in laboratories where greater precision and accuracy are required, and (b) Uosm and Usg may be used interchangeably to determine hydration status.

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J.D. Adams, Stavros A. Kavouras, Evan C. Johnson, Lisa T. Jansen, Catalina Capitan-Jimenez, Joseph I. Robillard and Andy Mauromoustakos

The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the effects of storage temperature, duration, and the urinary sediment on urinary hydration markers. Thirty-six human urine samples were analyzed fresh and then the remaining sample was separated into 24 separate vials, six in each of the following four temperatures: 22 °C, 7 °C, -20 °C, and -80 °C. Two of each sample stored in any given temperature, were analyzed after 1, 2, and 7 days either following vortexing or centrifugation. Each urine sample was analyzed for osmolality (UOsm), urine specific gravity (USG), and urine color (UC). UOsm was stable at 22 °C, for 1 day (+5–9 mmol∙kg-1, p > .05) and at 7 °C, UOsm up to 7 days (+8–8 mmol∙kg-1, p > .05). At -20 and -80 °C, UOsm decreased after 1, 2, and 7 days (9–61 mmol∙kg-1, p < .05). Vortexing the sample before analysis further decreased only UOsm in the -20 °C and -80 °C storage. USG remained stable up to 7 days when samples were stored in 22 °C or 7 °C (p > .05) but declined significantly when stored in -20 °C, and -80 °C (p < .001). UC was not stable in any of the storing conditions for 1, 2, and 7 days. In conclusion, these data indicate that urine specimens analyzed for UOsm or USG remained stable in refrigerated (7 °C) environment for up to 7 days, and in room temperature for 1 day. However, freezing (-20 and -80 °C) samples significantly decreased the values of hydration markers.

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Lindsay A. Ellis, Brandon A. Yates, Amy L. McKenzie, Colleen X. Muñoz, Douglas J. Casa and Lawrence E. Armstrong

Urine color (Ucol) as a hydration assessment tool provides practicality, ease of use, and correlates moderately to strongly with urine specific gravity (Usg) and urine osmolality (Uosm). Indicative of daily fluid turnover, along with solute and urochrome excretion in 24-hr samples, Ucol may also reflect dietary composition. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of Ucol as a hydration status biomarker after nutritional supplementation with beetroot (880 mg), vitamin C (1000 mg), and riboflavin (200 mg). Twenty males (Mean ± SD; age, 21 ± 2 y; body mass, 82.12 ± 15.58 kg; height, 1.77 ± 0.06 m) consumed a standardized breakfast and collected all urine voids on one control day (CON) and 1 day after consuming a standardized breakfast and a randomized and double-blinded supplement (SUP) over 3 weeks. Participants replicated exercise and diet for one day before CON, and throughout CON and SUP. Ucol, Usg, Uosm, and urine volume were measured in all 24-hr samples, and Ucol and Usg were measured in all single samples. Ucol was a significant predictor of single sample Usg after all supplements (p < .05). Interestingly, 24-hr Ucol was not a significant predictor of 24-h Usg and Uosm after riboflavin supplementation (p = .20, p = .21). Further, there was a significant difference between CON and SUP 24-h Ucol only after riboflavin supplementation (p < .05). In conclusion, this investigation suggests that users of the UCC (urine color chart) should consider riboflavin supplementation when classifying hydration status and use a combination of urinary biomarkers (e.g., Usg and Ucol), both acutely and over 24 hr.

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Ben Desbrow, Katelyn Barnes, Caroline Young, Greg R. Cox and Chris Irwin

Immediate postexercise access to fruit/fluid via a recovery “station” is a common feature of mass participation sporting events. Yet little evidence exists examining their impact on subsequent dietary intake. The aim of this study was to determine if access to fruit/water/sports drinks within a recovery station significantly alters dietary and fluid intakes in the immediate postexercise period and influences hydration status the next morning. 127 (79 males) healthy participants (M ± SD, age = 22.5 ± 3.5y, body mass (BM) = 73 ± 13kg) completed two self-paced morning 10km runs separated by 1 week. Immediately following the first run, participants were randomly assigned to enter (or not) the recovery station for 30min. All participants completed the alternate recovery option the following week. Participants recorded BM before and after exercise and measured Urine Specific Gravity (USG) before running and again the following morning. For both trial days, participants also completed 24h food and fluid records via a food diary that included photographs. Paired-sample t tests were used to assess differences in hydration and dietary outcome variables (Recovery vs. No Recovery). No difference in preexercise USG or BM change from exercise were observed between treatments (p’s > .05). Attending the recovery zone resulted in a greater total daily fluid (Recovery = 3.37 ± 1.46L, No Recovery = 3.16 ± 1.32L, p = .009) and fruit intake (Recovery = 2.37 ± 1.76 servings, No Recovery = 1.55 ± 1.61 servings, p > .001), but had no influence on daily total energy (Recovery = 10.15 ± 4.2MJ, No Recovery = 10.15 ± 3.9MJ), or macronutrient intakes (p > .05). Next morning USG values were not different between treatments (Recovery = 1.018 ± 0.007, No Recovery = 1.019 ± 0.009, p > .05). Recovery stations provide an opportunity to modify dietary intake which promote positive lifestyle behaviors in recreational athletes.

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Peter D. Kupcis, Gary J. Slater, Cathryn L. Pruscino and Justin G. Kemp

Purpose:

The effect of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion on prerace hydration status and on 2000 m ergometer performance in elite lightweight rowers was examined using a randomized, cross-over, double-blinded design.

Methods:

To simulate body mass (BM) management strategies common to lightweight rowing, oarsmen reduced BM by approx. 4% in the 24 h preceding the trials, and, in the 2 h before performance, undertook nutritional recovery consisting of mean 43.2 kJ/kg, 2.2 g of CHO per kilogram, 31.8 mg of Na+ per kilogram, 24.3 mL of H2O per kilogram, and NaHCO3 (0.3 g of NaHCO3 per kilogram BM) or placebo (PL; 0.15 g of corn flour per kilogram BM) at 70 to 90 min before racing.

Results:

At 25 min before performance, NaHCO3 had increased blood pH (7.48 ± 0.02 vs PL: 7.41 ± 0.03, P = .005) and bicarbonate concentrations (29.1 ± 1.8 vs PL: 23.9 ± 1.6 mmol/L, P < .001), whereas BM, urine specific gravity, and plasma volume changes were similar between trials. Rowing ergometer times were similar between trials (NaHCO3: 397.8 ± 12.6; PL: 398.6 ± 13.8 s, P = .417), whereas posttest bicarbonate (11.6 ± 2.3 vs 9.4 ± 1.8 mmol/L, P = .003) and lactate concentration increases (13.4 ± 1.7 vs 11.9 ± 1.9 mmol/L, P = .001) were greater with NaHCO3.

Conclusion:

Sodium bicarbonate did not further enhance rehydration or performance in lightweight rowers when undertaking recommended post-weigh-in nutritional recovery strategies.

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Bjoern Geesmann, Joachim Mester and Karsten Koehler

Athletes competing in ultra-endurance events are advised to meet energy requirements, to supply appropriate amounts of carbohydrates (CHO), and to be adequately hydrated before and during exercise. In practice, these recommendations may not be followed because of satiety, gastrointestinal discomfort, and fatigue. The purpose of the study was to assess energy balance, macronutrient intake and hydration status before and during a 1,230-km bike marathon. A group of 14 well-trained participants (VO2max: 63.2 ± 3.3 ml/kg/min) completed the marathon after 42:47 hr. Ad libitum food and fluid intake were monitored throughout the event. Energy expenditure (EE) was derived from power output and urine and blood markers were collected before the start, after 310, 618, and 921 km, after the finish, and 12 hr after the finish. Energy intake (EI; 19,749 ± 4,502 kcal) was lower than EE (25,303 ± 2,436 kcal) in 12 of 14 athletes. EI and CHO intake (average: 57.1 ± 17.7 g/hr) decreased significantly after km 618 (p < .05). Participants ingested on average 392 ± 85 ml/hr of fluid, but fluid intake decreased after km 618 (p < .05). Hydration appeared suboptimal before the start (urine specific gravity: 1.022 ± 0.010 g/ml) but did not change significantly throughout the event. The results show that participants failed to maintain in energy balance and that CHO and fluid intake dropped below recommended values during the second half of the bike marathon. Individual strategies to overcome satiety and fatigue may be necessary to improve eating and drinking behavior during prolonged ultra-endurance exercise.